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Excessive social media use could lead to divorce, study says

Have you ever been sitting at the dining room table, trying to have a conversation with your partner over a meal, only to look up and see that they’re paying more attention to an electronic device than you? If you answered yes to this question, you’re not alone.

Because of huge advancements in technology in the last decade, handheld devices such as cellphones and tablets have become a common fixture in our daily lives. But even though they are incredibly convenient, researchers think some people’s attachment to their devices may be excessive. And in some cases, this could increase their chances of getting a divorce as well.

Although excessive use of electronic devices will likely not be the entire reason a couple experiences challenges in their marriage, it can become a factor because it can affect how couples communicate with each other. If electronic devices become too much of a distraction for one partner, it could interrupt communication altogether. A spouse may even choose to use an electronic device as an escape, avoiding difficult situations or discussions which can generate resentment and contentions.

But it’s not just the use of electronic devices that spouses have to worry about. A study published in “Computers in Human Behavior” suggests that excessive Facebook use can also lead to marital problems. Although the researchers of the study did not make a direct correlation to Facebook and marriage failure, they did notice that an increase in Facebook enrollment was also related to an increase in divorce rates.

If we look at a recent case, we can see why this occurs. Some of our Florida readers may have heard about the case of the Illinois woman who blames Facebook for the dissolution of her marriage. As she explained to reporters, she would oftentimes ignore her husband and children, “spending sometimes four or five hours a day [on Facebook].”

Because it’s unlikely that society will decrease its use of electronic devices or the amount of time it spends on social media sites like Facebook, it’s likely that we will continue to see more cases like this one crop up across the nation. Thankfully, laws firms such as ours are equipped to handle contentious separations and are willing to help couples to a resolution that fits their specific situation.

Source: CNBC, “Social networking linked to divorce, marital unhappiness,” Everett Rosenfeld, Jul 8, 2014

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